by Peter Byrne
(Swans - November 19, 2007)
She: Don't talk to me about your devils.
He: They aren't my devils. It's only an expression: Better the devil you know.
She: Then it's a pretty dumb expression.
He: A saying like that embodies the wisdom of the ages.
She: Dumb, I say. The devil commander-in-chief devil and his vice with the pitchfork have shafted you. So dump them as soon as you can.
He: Must you bring everything back to politics? Why can't you soar into the world of ideas? I said wisdom of the ages.
She: If you're talking ageism, I'll listen to you. I'm an ageist. I chalk up my neural losses every morning before I put my teeth in.
He: Have it your way. Just show me the nearest exit. I need air.
She: Take it easy. Remember what the doctor said about your nervous stomach.
He: Those were my gut feelings he overheard. He should have written them down instead of prescribing a laxative.
She: Maybe he wasn't keen on inner thoughts. But I'll play. Deal me another wise card.
He: Let's keep it simple. You've heard the saying, A dog is man's best friend.
She: Of course. It's hooey.
He: I'm going for a walk.
She: It's obvious that man is a dog's best friend. What did the pooch ever do for us?
He: The pooch is an exception, one off. We're talking general truths.
She: Let me know when we've landed on my cabbage patch. Do you realize that were we unfriendly we might have made him into a fighting dog, a killer, and placed bets on him?
He: The pooch kill something? Something alive? No immune system ever sunk that low on this planet.
She: We could have given him a pep talk. What the hell, steroids.
He: You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
She: The pooch took early retirement early.
He: He's certainly not one of the dogs of war.
She: He's a pacifist. He's demonstrating. But what's all this about Let sleeping dogs lie?
He: Now you're getting the idea.
She: That one's wrong too. If you didn't get the pooch up on his paws once in a while, the carpet would grow over him.
He: Please, lets close the kennel door. Open your kitchen window and get some perspective.
She: You want philosophy? Like It's a dog's life? Phooey on that too. Look at the pooch snoozing while we're opening a debate on who's going to cook dinner.
He: You must have heard the reflection, Every dog has his day.
She: Sure I've heard it, but I see the pooch's luck as very consistent. I haven't had my day yet. As for dog days, I missed out on miniskirts in my tepid girlhood that was decidedly pre-1968 and the summer of love.
He: Maybe you were one of those girls that we young fellas called a dog.
She: If so, it was like the skillet calling the kettle black.
He: You see? You just had recourse to an eternal verity.
She: By the way, what does a skillet do for a day job and did you ever see a speck of dirt on my electric kettle?
He: You're a real dog in the manger. Stand back and let a husband develop his thought.
She: All right, all right. Help yourself to some of the hair of the dog that bit you.
He: No, that doesn't fit.
She: I'm glad. You wouldn't want to swallow hair in quantity with your shins bloodied.
He: Enough is enough.
She: Okay. Even a dog's obeyed in office.
He: That's politics again, not timeless wisdom. And it's impolite.
She: Forgive me and the Bard. Our bark is worse than our bite.
He: Heel, Fido! I give up. Call off the pack. What were we talking about before the growling started?
She: Devils you have known.
He: That's it. I meant that the politician we've already watched in office might have been wanting. But we're on to his crimes and blunders. A new man's capers and cock-ups might be worse. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
She: That's what you meant? Your devils are politicians? It makes sense.
He: Yes, change can be risky.
She: No, I mean that politicians are devils.
He: Don't be so literal minded.
She: Why not? If the man in office and the fresh candidate are both devils we ought to call off elections and start exorcisms.
He: That wouldn't be constitutional.
She: You think the devils might come back with an amendment?
He: Look. You might be able to pass exorcism off as a kind of blessing. You know, Merry Christmas, Happy Easter, Begone Satan.
She: You could get our senators attended to like we did the pooch.
He: Don't be silly. We didn't call on a clergyman to put him right.
She: No, but the vet who flushed out his tapeworm looked to me like a man of faith: his shirt had a dog collar. And when we stepped into his bowwow parlor, he rushed right over to us. The early bird caught the worm.
He: Now I am going for a walk.
She: The pooch had a fresh start afterwards.
He: Don't tell me he was born again.
She: The tapeworm was. It began all over from scratch.
He: I'm out the door.
She: It's the first step that costs.
He: Don't expect me back till late. I'm going to take the bike and make the pooch sweat on the path around the lake.
She: Still, The longest journey begins with the first step.
He: Shut up.
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